Hives are swollen pale red bumps patches or welts on the skin that appear suddenly they can happen because of allergies or other reasons your doctor may call them urticaria hives usually . Urticaria is a common disorder occurring in 15 25 of individuals at some point in life 1 2 it is characterized by recurrent pruritic wheals with pale central swelling and surrounding epidermal erythema which can appear over any part of the body see fig 1. Angioedema it tells you what they are what causes them what you can do it tells you what they are what causes them what you can do about them and where you can find out more about them. Mast cells are the primary effector cells in urticaria and in many cases of angioedema these cells are widely distributed in the skin mucosa and other areas of the body and have high affinity immunoglobulin e ige receptors. Hives or welts also known as urticaria are itchy raised reddish areas on the skin about a quarter of the general population can have hives during their life
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